OCEANSIDE — A community workshop will be held May 15 to collect input that will help define four alternative plans for Coast Highway.
Unlike other neighboring coastal cities that have added a bike lane and reduced traffic lanes along Coast Highway, Oceanside’s proposed vision plan includes changes to business layouts and the roadway.
The catalyst for changes is the Coast Highway Vision Plan that was adopted by the city in 2009. The vision plan focuses on streets that accommodate vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and encourages mixed-use development.
The vision plan considers access to transit, adding roundabouts to ensure continuous traffic flow and improving parking access to businesses.
It also upholds the belief that improvements to downtown traffic flow and streetscape will draw more business to Oceanside.
“The corridor study gives the vision plan teeth,” John Amberson, city project manager, said. “It gives the city a direction. Without a plan it’s willy-nilly. It will be a self-perpetuation of what we have now.”
The May 15 workshop will provide an overview of the vision plan, share feedback gathered at the February workshop, and collect further input to develop corridor plan options.
During the meeting participants will have the opportunity to share their input at a series of feedback stations.
The goal of the workshop is to gather input to develop four alternate corridor plans, which will be presented to City Council for final selection.
Amberson said the four alternatives would include the complete vision plan, no change to the corridor and two alternatives in between those extremes.
In addition to community workshops, a steering committee has been formed to provide further, focused input. The committee, which includes representatives from businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, MainStreet Oceanside, Visit Oceanside, the police department, the fire department, North County Transit District and other stakeholders met in March and will meet again this summer.
Amberson said gathering input from community workshops and the steering committee is a way to double down on input and ensure feedback is representative of the community at large.
Four corridor plans are expected to be developed by the end of summer.
The feasibility of each plan will be analyzed, and presented to City Council before the council selects a plan. Analysis will include traffic impacts on Coast Highway and adjacent streets, and take into account people’s need to commute and tolerance for traffic waits. Implementation of the final plan will take 15 to 20 years.
“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Amberson said. “It will be phased in over many years.”
Road changes will follow developers purchasing downtown property and initiating business layout changes. The adopted corridor plan will serve as a guideline.
The Corridor Study Workshop will be held at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers.